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A ‘little ship of Dunkirk’ that also saw action in The Boer War and the First World War is set to go under the hammer at Unique Auctions in Lincoln on June 24, estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Caretta was launched in 1898 at Devonport Dockyard as part of a new breed of small armed boats designed to protect the fleet at anchor and allow armed patrols. The boat went on to cover troops landing on the beaches at Gallipoli and was later used by the Admiralty for Operation Dynamo (the Dunkirk evacuation), after Caretta had been converted to a private motor yacht.

It returned to Ramsgate ‘in a rough condition’ and was taken out of commission for the rest of the war. Cruising for many years on the River Blackwater, under new ownership in 2017 it has undergone a full certified restoration.

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